Golden Age: A Novel (Hardcover)

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By Wang Xiaobo, Yan Yan (Translated by)
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Like Gary Shteyngart or Michel Houellebecq, Wang Xiaobo is a Chinese literary icon whose satire forces us to reconsider the ironies of history.

“Apparently, there was a rumour that Chen Qingyang and I were having an affair. She wanted me to prove our innocence. I said, to prove our innocence, we must prove one of the following:
        1. Chen Qingyang is a virgin;
        2. I was born without a penis.
Both of these propositions were hard to prove, therefore, we couldn’t prove our innocence. Infact, I was leaning more toward proving that we weren’t innocent.”
And so begins Wang Er’s story of his long affair with Chen Qinyang. Wang Er, a 21-year-old ox herder, is shamed by the local authorities and forced to write a confession for his crimes but instead, takes it upon himself to write a modernist literary tract. Later, as a lecturer at a chaotic, newly built university, Wang Er navigates the bureaucratic maze of 1980’s China, boldly writing about the Cultural Revolution’s impact on his life and those around him. Finally, alone and humbled, Wang Er must come to terms with the banality of his own existence.
But what makes this novel both hilarious and important is Xiaobo’s use of the awkwardness of sex as a metaphor for all that occured during the Cultural Revolution. This achievement was revolutionary in China and places Golden Age in the great pantheon of novels that argue against governmental control.
A leading icon of his generation, Wang Xiaobo’s cerebral and sarcastic narrative is a reflection on the failures of individuals and the enormous political, social, and personal changes in 20thcentury China.

About the Author

Wang Xiaobo, a contemporary Chinese writer, was born in Beijing in 1952 and died of illness on April 11, 1997. Xiaobo taught at Peking University and Renmin University of China and became a freelance writer in 1992. His novels Golden Age and The Future World won the United Daily News Award for Novel twice with his screenplay East Palace, West Palace won the Best Screenplay Award at the Mar del Plata Film Festival in Argentina in 1996. His representative works include collections of essays: A Maverick Pig, The Silent Majority; novels Golden Age, Silver Age, Hongfu’s Elopement at Night, etc. [All to be confirmed.]

Praise For…

"This new translation captures Wang Xiaobo's absurdist and surprisingly lewd sense of humor, as well as the grimly amusing satire of China's Cultural Revolution that lurks within it . . . Golden Age is never less than entertaining, its sharp insights existing alongside endless sexual innuendo and jokes that mine humor from the darkest recesses of Chinese history."
Hank Stephenson, Shelf Awareness

"A leading icon of his generation, [Wang's] cerebral and sarcastic narrative is a reflection on the failures of individuals and the enormous political, social and personal changes that traumatized 20th century China."
Alan Chong Lau, International Examiner

"Golden Age, long admired in many circles, may prove a revelation to readers outside China. Wang Xiaobo steeped himself in the literatures of East and West, and the blending of influences – including Proust and Twain – makes for a searingly funny and fearless narration full of brilliant headlong riffs on sex, time, history and the terrifying absurdities of the Cultural Revolution. Bawdy, earthy, cerebral, outrageous, bleakly hilarious and off-handedly brave, this novel is like nothing else."
— Sam Lipsyte, author of The Ask and The Subject Steve

Product Details
ISBN: 9781662601217
ISBN-10: 1662601212
Publisher: Astra House
Publication Date: July 26th, 2022
Pages: 288
Language: English